Basic Astronomy

Lyrid meteor shower

Lyrid is a medium intensity meteor shower. For observers in the northern hemisphere it usually produces about 20 meteors per hour in its peak. The shower will peak on 21-22 April but some meteors will be visible between 16 to 25th April. There will be very faint moon during night in 2013, so it will be ideal to watch the show. Meteors seems to radiate from the constellation Lyra.

It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861. Comet Thatcher is a periodic comet with 415 year long orbital period.

Lyrid meteor shower 2013

(The 2013 Lyrid meteors as seen from Windy Point Vista on Mt. Lemmon, Tucson Arizona. Picture Credit & copyright Sean Parker Photography.)

Lyrid meteor shower is probably most oldest recorded meteor shower. There is record of the shower for past 2600 years. Chinese astronomers made earliest written record of the shower in 687 BC.

How can you watch the show?

The meteors of the Lyrid shower appear to fall from the constellation Lyra. You should watch towards Lyra when the sky is darkest in your area. The best viewing times are usually about midnight to 2 am.

As always, if you can go far from the city, you will see better view of sky due to less light pollution. You may like to lie on a blanket in a park or rooftop to enjoy the show. It will also help you to have access of full view of the sky.

Related story

Meteor shower calendar

Orionid meteor shower 2012

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